NORTH ROBINSON — Dominant pitching and defense — as well as a timely hit — propelled Colonel Crawford to victory in the 2021 baseball season opener.
The Eagles (1-0) shut down Old Fort 2-1 in a non-league contest on Saturday at Marion Althouse Field in North Robinson. Senior pitcher Drayton Burkhart recorded 14 strikeouts on the way to a complete game, no-hitter for the Eagles.
Colonel Crawford picked up the victory in walk-off fashion when junior Carson Feichtner singled to drive in senior Cade Hamilton with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hamilton reached base on a base hit to lead off the inning.
The Eagles led 1-0 when senior Jake Hoffman scored on a ground-out by Mason McKibben. That lead stood up until the fourth inning when the Stockaders Isaiah Perez scored the tying run. Perez walked to get aboard, then stole a base, moved up on an error, and later scored the unearned run. He was the only Old Fort player to reach base.
Burkhart closed the door on the Stockaders after that, retiring the side in order over the next three innings. He recorded seven of his 14 strikeouts during that span. He struck out the final three batters of the game in the seventh inning.
“He was dealing,” Eagles head coach Dan Gorbett said.
Colonel Crawford has four games on its schedule in the upcoming week. The Eagles travel to Plymouth on Monday, then open Northern 10 Athletic Conference play on Wednesday at Buckeye Central. The Bucks visit North Robinson on Thursday for the return game. Colonel Crawford rounds out the week on Saturday at Crestline.
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